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Death Studies

Heather Hartley, David Kenneth Wright, Brandi Vanderspank-Wright, Pamela Grassau, Mary Ann Murray
The practice of operating room (OR) clinicians - nurses, surgeons, and anesthetists - is fundamentally about preserving life. Some patients, however, die in the OR. Clinicians are therefore vulnerable to moral and emotional trauma. In this paper, we discuss three forces that shape clinicians' moral and emotional experiences in OR care: biomedical values, normative death discourse, and socially (un)sanctioned grief. We suggest how each of these forces increases clinicians' vulnerability to feel traumatized when their patients die...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Kristine L Florczak, Nancy Lockie
The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study, underpinned by the humanbecoming paradigm, was to bring forth a deeper understanding about continuing bonds with a deceased spouse and describe the transformative process of losing a partner. Each of six participants dialogued with researchers on three to four occasions about the life and death of their loved one, continuing bonds with the deceased, struggles they have encountered, and dreams of the future. It was discovered that participants told a story that changed over time, struggled with continuing bonds, suffered with loneliness and desired new intimate relationships...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Erin R Currie, Becky J Christian, Pamela S Hinds, Samuel J Perna, Cheryl Robinson, Sara Day, Marie Bakitas, Karen Meneses
The death of an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a profound and unexpected loss for parents that results in a complex process of coping with bereavement. A descriptive qualitative approach was used to explore parent bereavement and coping experiences after infant death in the NICU. The Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement was used as a conceptual framework to help understand how parents cope with grief after infant death. Living with infant death was a process that resulted in major life changes and a process of oscillating among various coping strategies...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Lisa C Lindley, Elspeth M Slayter
Drawing on national, longitudinal Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System data (2005-2015), demographic, health, foster care, and geographic characteristics of decedents (N = 3,653) aged 1-17 years were examined. On average, decedents were 6 years old, the highest proportion died as infants, and experienced significant trauma in their short lives either through maltreatment or exposure to parental substance use. A noted increase in Medicaid coverage among decedents over time suggests critical access to concurrent treatment and hospice care, but this is unavailable to children with private insurance...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Kim Christian, Samar M Aoun, Lauren J Breen
This study investigated the importance of religious and spiritual beliefs in daily life in explaining Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) symptomatology. Participants were 588 bereaved adults who completed a questionnaire. The importance of spiritual beliefs in daily life explained a small to medium, significant 3% of variance in PGD symptoms, but religious beliefs in daily life did not. Individuals who placed moderate importance on spiritual beliefs in their daily life may experience more intense grief.
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Elizabeth Adams, Jacinta Hawgood, Anne Bundock, Kairi Kõlves
This interpretative phenomenological analysis explored the key issues in the grief experiences of seven young adults bereaved by the youth suicide of a sibling. We conducted semi-structured phone interviews from which we derived four themes describing the participants' experiences of: (a) the process of grief, (b) grief interactions (within families and outside), (c) continuing bonds, and (d) meaning making and growth through grief. The stories highlight the impact of family relationships on the grieving process in siblings and the need for support to help family members better communicate, understand, and respect each other's needs as they process their grief...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Nathalie Oexle, Katharina Herrmann, Tobias Staiger, Lindsay Sheehan, Nicolas Rüsch, Silvia Krumm
Among people with mental illness, stigma experiences can increase suicidality, and suicidality itself is associated with negative stereotypes. Suicide attempt survivors experience both mental illness stigma and suicide stigma, which could contribute to their increased risk for completed suicide. We interviewed 13 suicide attempt survivors regarding experiences and consequences of stigma and identified five stigma-related themes. Stigma led to substantial emotional strain, including loneliness and hopelessness, which are important precursors of suicidality...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Yanping Liu, Gertina J van Schalkwyk
In this qualitative study, we explored how Chinese rural elders narrate death-related issues and death preparation. Adopting a phenomenological approach, we interviewed 14 participants regarding the particular actions they employ to prepare for death. The findings revealed a death preparation system for rural Chinese elders that is instrumental in how they converse about death, wish for a good death, make objects and symbols, and anticipate an afterlife as a worshiped ancestor rather than a wandering ghost...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Khaldoon Aljerian
Proper completion of death certificates is of vital importance. This study assessed the accuracy of death certification at one major hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We collected all certificates from 1997 to 2016 and scored them on the degree of accuracy. We found no errors of incompleteness or missed contributors to death. However, in all certificates (100%), cause of death was either incorrect or absent; 75% provided no cause of death. Further large-scale studies should be conducted in other hospitals to determine the exact prevalence of these serious errors...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Karina Elisabeth Jensen, Maja O'Connor, Helle Spindler, Andrew Moskowitz
Bereavement hallucinations (BHs) were assessed in 175 conjugally bereaved participants four years post loss, to explore whether BHs were: a) associated with psychological distress and b) predicted by sociodemographic variables, personality and/or coping style. Participants with BHs scored significantly higher than those without BHs on prolonged grief, post-traumatic stress, depression symptoms, and emotional loneliness. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis showed avoidant coping, openness to experience, and length of marriage to significantly predict BHs, while detached coping was negatively associated with BHs...
May 14, 2018: Death Studies
Lauren J Breen, Regina Szylit, Kathleen R Gilbert, Catriona Macpherson, Irene Murphy, Janice Winchester Nadeau, Daniela Reis E Silva, Debra L Wiegand
Grief is a family affair, yet it is commonly viewed as an individual phenomenon. As an international, interdisciplinary team, we explore grief within a family context across theoretical, research, practice, and educational domains. Families are complex and working with this complexity is challenging but necessary for a holistic view of grief. We therefore encourage an increased focus on theorizing, researching, practicing, and educating using innovative approaches to address the complexities of grief within the context of families...
May 7, 2018: Death Studies
Lok Yung Chau, Wing Shan Cheung, Samuel M Y Ho
Death metaphors are a meaningful way to understand personal perceptions of death, an important construct affecting how people live. This study collected death metaphor data among 100 university students in Hong Kong in 2016 and compared the findings with another study reported in 2004. Interpersonally oriented death metaphors were still popular among students a decade later. There was a general decrease in positive perception of death and an increase in negative perception of death from 2004 to 2016. Death metaphors are useful tools in death education programs, especially in cultures where death is a taboo topic...
March 30, 2018: Death Studies
Shane Sharp
Are beliefs about and behaviors towards the Bible associated with voluntary euthanasia attitudes? Using General Social Survey data and multivariate logistic regression, I find that individuals' views of the authorship and epistemological status of the Bible; the importance of the Bible in making decisions; and the frequency in which individuals read the Bible are associated with negative voluntary euthanasia attitudes, even when controlling for other religiosity and sociodemographic predictors. I find that the importance of the Bible in making decisions accounts for the effect of frequency of reading the Bible and viewing the Bible as the inspired word of God...
March 15, 2018: Death Studies
Geoffrey F Brazda, Lillian M Range, Theodore P Remley, Carolyn C White
Counseling professionals and graduate students (N = 117) recruited online read a randomly assigned one-paragraph vignette about either a non-rational or rational suicide involving an imaginary loved one. Then, they completed the Grief Experiences Questionnaire (GEQ) about how they would feel. The non-rational suicide group expected significantly more search for explanation than the rational suicide group, but were not significantly different on the other six GEQ subscales. All participants expected few distressing reactions to either vignette, suggesting a one-paragraph vignette may not be sufficient to induce the kind of grief many experience when a loved one dies by suicide...
March 15, 2018: Death Studies
Jacob S Sawyer, Melanie E Brewster
The present study examines how meaning and belief in God or god(s) is related to bereavement outcomes. Data from 299 participants residing in the United States indicated that the variables of search for meaning, presence of meaning, and belief in God or god(s) were significantly related to posttraumatic growth, complicated grief, and psychological distress. Results from this study can be used to identify appropriate clinical strategies for mental health practitioners working with bereaved clients and will expand the breadth of literature on bereavement with atheist populations in the United States...
March 6, 2018: Death Studies
Davina Banner, Shannon Freeman, Damanpreet K Kandola, Madeline Meikle, Bridget K M Russell, E Anne Sommerfeld, Donna Flood, Catharine J Schiller
While death is a universal human experience, the process of planning for death can be difficult and may be avoided altogether. To understand community perspectives of end-of-life preparedness, we undertook a multimethod study exploring the experiences of 25 community members and 10 stakeholders engaged in end-of-life planning. In addition, card sorting activities and focused discussions with 97 older adults were undertaken to highlight perspectives and needs. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative description...
March 2, 2018: Death Studies
Elizabeth Goetter, Eric Bui, Arielle Horenstein, Amanda W Baker, Susanne Hoeppner, Meredith Charney, Naomi M Simon
Knowledge about what psychological characteristics underlie complicated grief (CG) is limited. The current study examined the five-factor personality traits in 81 bereaved adults with (n = 51) and without (n = 30) CG. A trained doctoral-level clinician evaluated participants using a structured, diagnostic psychiatric interview, and they completed self-report measures of grief and personality. A multiple regression model indicated that higher levels of neuroticism were associated with greater CG symptom severity, implicating neuroticism in the development of CG...
March 2, 2018: Death Studies
Michal Bat-Or, Dana Garti
The exploratory study's aim was to examine how art therapists perceive the role of the art medium in the treatment of bereaved clients. Eight Israeli art therapists reflected on this topic through drawings and interviews. Qualitative analysis identified three major roles, specifically art as: (1) a space for the client's grief work; (2) a communication channel that impacts the art therapist's experience and therapeutic relationship; and (3) a shared space where client and therapist create a new narrative. The discussion deals with the findings and their clinical implications, identifying the central therapeutic processes involved in art therapy with bereaved clients...
March 2, 2018: Death Studies
Paul Daugherty
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2, 2018: Death Studies
Eunicia Jones, Megan Oka, Jeremy Clark, Heather Gardner, Robin Hunt, Spencer Dutson
Young widowhood is a unique experience that has received little in-depth attention in research and clinical settings. The present study examined the lived experiences of young men and women who had lost a spouse. Eleven men and women between the ages of 18 and 49 were interviewed about their experiences postloss using phenomenological methods. After coding the interviews, three themes emerged: (1) relationship prior to death, (2) coping, and (3) concerns. Clinical implications included the need for more accessible resources for young widowed individuals, such as therapeutic services, finances, and childcare...
March 2, 2018: Death Studies
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